Newbridge Seniors booked their place in the senior league final with a last gasp win over St. Andrews…

In a week when we’ve seen the joy and heartbreak of a last minute victory and loss, Newbridge came from 13-0 down with 18 minutes left on the clock to win 17-13. St. Andrews dominated large parts of the first half with their powerful pack making big line breaks especially their open side flanker and No.8. Newbridge were lucky not to concede a try in the corner on 25 minutes but for the final pass going into touch for St. Andrews. However Newbridge were caught off side in front of the posts and Andrews duly took the three points on offer. It was 3-0 at half time with Andrews deserving their slender lead and wondering how they were not further in front.

The second half began in a similar fashion to the first with Newbridge indiscipline giving up valuable field position to Andrews. The Kildare team were uncharacteristically careless with ball in hand and found it difficult to go through the phases. They conceded another penalty after ten minutes of the second half and then five minutes later they conceded their first try after some fine individual play from the Andrews No.10.

With just over fifteen on the clock Newbridge left them with a mountain to climb but straight from the kick off there was a sense of purpose about their play with a massive hit from Captain Tom Brady signalling a much more physical Newbridge approach. Indeed it was substitute Brady who scored the first try finishing off a fine team move.

Newbridge came back again straight away and after a few attempts at breaking the Andrews defence Conor J Doyle dived over after some very hard yards from Jonathan Phelan in the phase before. It was converted by Chris Healy but Newbridge still needed another try to win. It duly came from wing Joe D’Arcy with the last play of the game. Newbridge went through roughly 12 or so phases to set him free in the corner.

Junior Semi Final… by J.Joyce.
It was a stunning turnaround from Newbridge and a heartbreaking defeat for Andrews. Best for Newbridge were Mark Sutton, Tom Brady, Jonathan Phelan, Conor Doyle and Cormac Nugent. Newbridge College played out a nail-biting semi-final against a very strong CUS side in St. Columba’s College. Newbridge settled quickly and threatened early but it was CUS that opened the scoring with a confidently kicked penalty after a late tackle. The Newbridge reply was almost instantaneous when Tom Connolly opened their account with a very well kicked penalty. Possession changed constantly with CUS having an extremely strong scrum and Newbridge dominating in the line-out stakes.

Cian Murphy scored a superb try after a deep relieving kick up the line by CUS. Cian fielded the ball, stepped the chasing winger and ran 70 meters to touch down in the corner. Tom Connolly kicked the conversion from just inside the touch line. The teams went in at half time with Newbridge holding a 10 – 3 lead.

The second half played out very similarly to the first with both teams creating chances. The middle ten of the half really saw CUS hit their purple patch. A mistake in the Newbridge defence allowed CUS in for a try out wide. The conversion drifted to the right and wide leaving the score at 10 – 8. Six minutes later CUS received a kickable penalty which came back off the upright. Newbridge weathered this storm and with ten minutes to go Cian Murphy snipped off the back of a well worked team ruck to score in the corner for his second of the day.

The final whistle saw Newbridge College run out 15 – 8 winners over CUS. Great praise must go to both packs for the sheer physicality and hard work they brought to the game. The backs on both teams defended furiously and created well.
Man of the match on the day had to go the Newbridge College winger Cian Murphy.

Check out all the Schools results HERE.